What modalities in TCM does Chi Wellness Clinic offer?
Over 5,000 years, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) has evolved complex methods of
diagnosis and treatment tailored to the individual's subtle patterns of disharmony.
This allows it to not only treat fully manifest diseases, but also to assist in maintaining
health and balance (i.e. wellness) and to prevent illnesses from occurring. There are
six major modalities in TCM:
Acupuncture: Needle on an acupoint
Massage therapy: Tuina (also called Anmo)
Moxibustion: Burning an herbal stick placed above an acupoint
Cupping: Vacuum suction cups on the skin (near acupoints)
Herbs: Herbal Medicine (fighting diseases), Dietary Supplements (seasonal adjustment)
Therapeutic exercises: Tai Chi, Qi Gong and many others
As a comprehensive TCM center in Boston and Waltham, Massachusetts, Chi Wellness Clinic
offers services in all six modalities and their optimal combinations.
involves the insertion of hair-thin needles into specific points on the body.
There are as many as 2,000 acupuncture points on the human body (though only about 350 acupoints
are commonly used), which are connected by 20 meridians (channels and collaterals).
Most people feel only a minimal amount of pain as the needles are inserted. When
practiced by a licensed practitioner, acupuncture is extremely
safe and does no harm. It can treat many health conditions, and also bring total
relaxation to the mind and body.
An acupuncture session usually takes 30-45 minutes. Patients will need a thorough diagnosis
first. Most patients are treated once a week; some are treated up to three times per week.
We expect patients to feel some relief of symptoms after a couple of sessions. Due to many
variables, it is difficult to predict how long it will take for acupuncture to cure a particular
is an adhesive patch with a metal pellet, which can stimulate an acupuncture point
without penetrating the skin. Acupatch is effective in its own right, but acts more slowly
than acupuncture. It is more effective for shallow acupoints, such as on the ear.
The advantage of acupatch is that patients can massage the acupoints themselves,
thus relieving certain symptoms on demand. We usually use acupatch in conjunction with acupuncture.
For patients who do not like needles, acupatches may be used without acupuncture.
Acupatch is effective for headaches, pain relief, weight issues and various addictions
(smoking, drinking, substance abuse). An acupatch session takes about 10-20 minutes.
Patients need to visit the clinic twice a week.
is carried out by placing an oxygen-depleted glass cup on the skin. The vacuum,
which is created by a burning taper placed briefly inside the cup prior to its placement
on the skin, stimulates the flow of Chi and blood in the cupping area. Cupping therapy can
be performed as an alternative to acupuncture. The cups are placed over acupuncture points, but
they treat a larger area of the body. At Chi Wellness, cupping is usually used in conjunction with
massage or acupuncture as needed. A cupping session takes about 20-30 minutes.
formulas consist of a combination of herbs. There are 150,000 formulas recorded in
Chinese medicine. Herbalists prescribe formulas specifically tailored for a particular patient
and a particular medical manifestation of a condition. Here, Chinese herbal medicine has an
advantage over other types of sherbal treatments. Herbal remedies are effective for many health conditions
and have few side effects when prescribed by qualified practitioners.
Patients need a thorough diagnosis before being given a prescription (a combination of 5-20 herbs).
A prescription is used for 1-2 weeks before patients are reevaluated. Chi Wellness is still
in the process of building a pharmacy of 200 kinds of herbal extract powders. Meanwhile,
we provide our patients with herbs in raw forms (requiring brewing) or powder forms through
other quality herbal pharmacies in Boston.
therapy is called Tuina (meaning push and pull) in China. The Tuina therapist manipulates
the energy in the body by kneading the points along the Chi meridians. There are four main
schools of Tuina, encompassing about twenty techniques. One, is Acupressure, which relies on fingers
to stimulate acupoints. Tuina is used for relief of pain, headache, injuries, stress, insomnia,
poor digestion, and irritable bowel syndrome. During a Tuina session, especially those of one hour or
longer, patients get into a state of tranquility and total relaxation. Patients feel rested
and yet energized afterwards. The therapeutic effects of Tuina often last for days and even up to a week.
Our form of massage is deep, strong and precise. During the first visit, we recommend customers
with chronic aches and pains have a whole body massage, which takes approximately one hour.
In the first session, our therapist will survey and diagnose sore points throughout the body
and systematically relieve pain. Our treatment will not only treat pain being felt at the moment,
but will also expose and address hidden pain. The latter may cause future injuries and health complications
if not treated properly. It is particularly effective to combine therapeutic Tuina with acupuncture
therapies. During, or shortly after the session, customers may experience some soreness. This should
not be cause for alarm or require any treatment with medication.
is a form of therapeutic massage in Tuina that is applied to the feet or
head. According to Chinese medicine, the feet or head reflect health conditions of
various parts of the body. Reflexology massage can promote overall wellness, and
relieve stress, headaches, strains and pains. Reflexology massage is strong, but
more refined than whole body massage. Patients feel light and energized
, an ancient Chinese exercise, combines martial arts with Chi-Gong (or Qigong) breathing
techniques. Tai Chi is a serious yet gentle workout that brings a unique state of tranquility.
Tai Chi's therapeutic benefits include: stress release, relaxation of mind and body, relief of
aches and pains, and improvement of strength, flexibility, balance and coordination.
Tai Chi excise requires regular practice. Average students may expect to gain
therapeutic benefits after 3 to 12 months of practice.
According to the theory of traditional Chinese medicine, disease results from a depletion
or congestion of Chi. Acupuncture works by stimulating the various acupoints in the body,
thus allowing the vital energy, Chi, to flow freely along the meridians. However, the biological
mechanism of acupuncture's therapeutic power remains to be elucidated by modern scientists.
Several theories have been presented as to exactly how acupuncture works. One theory suggests
that pain impulses are blocked from reaching the spinal cord or brain at various "gates" to
these areas. Since a majority of acupuncture points are either connected to (or are located near)
neural structures, this suggests that acupuncture stimulates the nervous system.
Another theory suggests that acupuncture stimulates the body to produce narcotic-like substances,
called endorphins, which reduce pain. Other studies have found that other pain-relieving substances,
called opiates, may be released into the body during acupuncture treatment.
When practiced by a licensed, trained acupuncturist, acupuncture is extremely safe. As a system of
natural healthcare, acupuncture already has some inherent safeguards. Because the treatment is
drug-free, patients do not have to worry about taking several doses of a medication or suffering a
possible adverse reaction.
Properly administered, acupuncture does no harm. However, there are certain conditions you should
notify an acupuncturist about before undergoing treatment. If you have a pacemaker, for instance,
you should not receive electro-acupuncture due to the possibility of electromagnetic interference
with the pacemaker. Similarly, if you have a tendency to bleed or bruise easily, or if you are a
hemophiliac, you may want to consider a different type of care.
Unlike hypodermic needles, acupuncture needles are solid and hair-thin, and are not designed to
cut the skin. They are also inserted generally no more than a half-inch to an inch, depending on
the type of treatment delivered.
While each person experiences acupuncture differently, most people feel only a minimal amount of
pain as the needles are inserted - like a tap on the skin. Some people reportedly feel a sensation
of being energized, while others feel relaxed. If you experience significant pain from the needles,
it may be a sign that the procedure is being done improperly.
In the late 1970s, the World Health Organization (WHO) recognized the ability of acupuncture
and Oriental medicine to treat nearly four dozen common ailments including: neuromusculoskeletal
conditions (such as arthritis, neuralgia, insomnia, dizziness, and neck/shoulder pain), emotional
and psychological disorders (such as depression and anxiety), circulatory disorders
(such as hypertension, angina pectoris, arteriosclerosis and anemia), addictions (to alcohol,
nicotine and other drugs), respiratory disorders (such as emphysema, sinusitis, allergies
and bronchitis) and gastrointestinal conditions (such as food allergies, ulcers, chronic diarrhea,
constipation, indigestion, intestinal weakness, anorexia and gastritis).
In 1997, a consensus statement, released by the National Institute of Health (NIH), found that
acupuncture could be useful by itself, or in combination with other therapies, to treat addictions,
headaches, menstrual cramps, tennis elbow, fibromyalgia, myofascial pain, osteoarthritis,
lower back pain, carpal tunnel syndrome and asthma.
Other studies have demonstrated that acupuncture may help in the rehabilitation of stroke patients
and can relieve nausea in patients recovering from surgery.